Agnes So is passionate about helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams. “Finance is the core of any business,” explains the Westlake Village BioPartners vice president of Finance. “Raising capital and effectively managing resources is the currency that allows businesses to turn ideas into real things that people can use.”
For this Silicon Valley native, it’s not about money. After years working in finance, focused on the tech industry, So wanted to do something to help humanity. “I often hear tragic stories about how there is only so much doctors can do, how the weapons that doctors have to fight disease are limited, and how lives are cut short by diseases like cancer,” she says.
With a husband who is a doctor and a twin sister who is a pharmacist, it was natural that So felt she could fulfill her calling by joining Westlake Village BioPartners. “It’s really exciting for me to be part of a partnership where I can actually help these new discoveries and technologies become a reality for patients,” she says.
So’s first job in college was at an immunology lab at the University of California, Berkley, where she was studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. During that time, she became interested in how to improve the ability of the immune system to fight infections and cancers. However, she decided not to pursue a career directly in science or medicine, but rather apply her talents to the world of finance.
Once she graduated, So began her career in public accounting before realizing the venture capital industry was her niche. “I was fascinated by all the new discoveries and technologies that entrepreneurs came up with,” she explains, “and I love the idea of being surrounded by innovative thinkers.”
So then spent the better part of a decade working for Kleiner Perkins, where she learned how the venture capital business worked from the inside. As one of the most storied venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, So got used to working at a high-intensity pace, in a diverse and challenging environment.
At Westlake Village BioPartners, So hopes to apply her dedication and hard work to help entrepreneurs build companies that have the potential to bring transformative therapies and technologies to patients. “At Westlake, I’m looking forward to the opportunity where I can get firsthand experience witnessing how startups grow from being an idea to becoming a company,” she says.